M1 Mac RAM and SSD Upgrades Found to Be Possible After Purchase

Technicians in China have reportedly succeeded in upgrading the memory and storage of the M1 chip, suggesting that Apple's integrated custom silicon for the Mac may be more flexible than previously thought.

new m1 chip
Reports of maintenance technicians being able to expand the memory and storage of ‌M1‌ Macs began circulating on Chinese social media over the weekend, but now international reports have started to clarify the situation.

Technicians in Guangzhou, China have discovered that it is possible to detach the RAM from the ‌M1‌ chip and its nearby SSD module and replace them with larger capacity components, which are correctly recognized by macOS, without breaking the device.

m1 chip upgrade ram
As proof, a large number of images showing the process of a base model ‌M1‌ MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage being upgraded to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, and this change being correctly shown in macOS Big Sur, have been shared online.

The RAM and SSD components on Apple's ‌M1‌ Macs are soldered in place, making the procedure extremely challenging, and there is reportedly a high chance of failure. This invasive unofficial upgrade also undoubtedly breaches Apple's warranty.

m1 chip upgrade ram ssd
Apple has made it increasingly challenging for users to upgrade their own Macs over the years, and it was thought that the ‌M1‌ Mac represented a final solidification of this move, with all of the ‌M1‌ Mac's computing components being heavily physically integrated. The possibility of upgrading the memory and storage of ‌M1‌ Macs, albeit in an invasive and risky procedure, therefore seems to be a significant discovery.

m1 chip upgrade ssd
Due to the difficulty of upgrading the RAM or SSD, almost all ‌M1‌ owners will likely still have to rely on the memory and storage configuration that they chose at the point of purchase, with upgrades being confined to a minority of enthusiasts, although it has been suggested that ‌M1‌ Mac memory and storage upgrades in Asia will be available through unofficial channels.

‌M1‌ Mac owners may be keen to see if the process behind these upgrades is refined over time and becomes a more viable option.

Related Forums: Mac mini, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

Carlson-online Avatar
7 months ago
Extremely misleading title. It's a bit like saying robbing a bank is possible, given you have an experienced crew, inside information and a pass from law enforcement. This is not something the average user will ever be able to do.

Technically Possible !== Possible
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Doomtomb Avatar
7 months ago
What if we invented DIMM slots and M.2 connectors ?


Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hellosil Avatar
7 months ago
Ok, so it's easier and less risky for your current M1 machine to sell it, and purchase a new machine with better specs.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrMaxwell Avatar
7 months ago
Stupid title...it should read:

[HEADING=2]M1 Mac RAM and SSD Upgrades Found to Be Almost Impossible After Purchase[/HEADING]
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
diamond3 Avatar
7 months ago
My concern with some of the reports of really high ssd usage due to memory swapping is the longevity of that drive. I’d hate for the drive to fail in under 5 years and require an entirely new motherboard. Time will tell how big of an issue that will be.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
madmin Avatar
7 months ago
Don't try this at home folks :)
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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